Educational Content, Educational Institutions and Economic Development: Lessons from History
AbstractIndividuals’ choices of educational content are often shaped by the political economy of government policies that determine the incentives to acquire various skills. We first present a model to show how differences in educational content emerge as an equilibrium outcome of private decisions and government policy choices. We then illustrate these dynamics in two historical circumstances. In medieval Europe, states and the Church found individuals trained in Roman law valuable, and eventually supported investments in this new form of human capital. This had positive effects on Europe’s commercial and institutional development. In late 19th-century China, elites were afraid of the introduction of Western science and engineering and continued to select civil servants - who enjoyed substantial rents—based on their knowledge of Confucian classics. As a result, China lacked skills useful in modern industry. Finally, we present a variety of other contemporary and historical applications of this theory.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 12691.
Date of creation: Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Educational Content; Educational Institutions; Political Economy; Development;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
- I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
- O11 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2012-01-25 (Education)
- NEP-HIS-2012-01-25 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
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